April 24, 2008

The First Official Shot in RI GOP Governor race 2010?

Marc Comtois

Wake up from ye slumber Laffeyites and Chafeeniks, thar' be news!

I've been staying away from the internecine warfare of the RI GOP lately, perhaps because it's been relatively calm. But it looks like things are about to get roiling again. Ian Donnis has the scoop that Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian (a Chafee protege) will be running against Robert Manning (a Laffey guy) for the RI GOP National Committeeman post. And so it begins.

UPDATE: Ian has updated his original post and it looks like Warwick Rep. Joe Trillo is also running for the spot. According to Ian's report, it sounds like Trillo is interested in using the position to leverage national support for internal party-building:

Trillo says the party needs fresh blood in the Committeeman post. "I think I have done a lot to help this party, and I would like to do more," he says. "In the past, I just haven't seen the job done at the level that I think it could be done. The place we have continually run short is in raising money. I think the National Committeeman is in a better position to get money out of the RNC. Our current people haven't been able to get amy money of any significance. I don't know what they're doing."

Trillo says a small state such as Rhode Island could be "a prime experiment" of whether the national GOP can takeover a blue state.

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I'm not really sure how much a (snip) union-loving RINO expects to get from the rank-and-file GOP but I'm not particularly worried that he's going to be a SERIOUS contender. Especially if he has to contend with Laffey. Of course with a contentious Democrat primary we won't have to overly worry about "Operation: Chaos" crossover voters.

Posted by: Greg at April 24, 2008 1:50 PM

Oo, interesting.

So can we deduce from this that Mayor Avedesian will definitely not be running for Governor?

Posted by: Monique at April 24, 2008 2:14 PM

Update: Joe Trillo is now in the race.
Are the Laffey people trying to muscle Manning aside, because Avedesian stands a much better chance in a field with multiple candidates? I don't think anybody muscles Trillo aside.

Posted by: rhody at April 24, 2008 3:17 PM

A RI GOP institution is stepping down as National Committeewoman Eileen Gillespie Slocum. A number of GOP ladies with to replace her including Patricia Morgan so you can say " Sh-e-e-e's B-A-A-A--C-K!", not that she really left. She does not appear to be looked upon seriously.
It is my understanding Patricia actually has said she won't go to the national convention unless she is a delegate, what an attitude! I have been to four national conventions and yet to be a delegate! It takes all kinds!

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at April 24, 2008 5:03 PM

In response to Monique the national committee post has no impact on whether runs for office for Governor or another office.
For those that do not know, the three AUTOMATIC delegates to the National GOP Convention are the State GOP Chair who is Gio Cicione, and the national committeeman and committeewoman. The RI GOP Chair is also automatically on the national committee by reason of office.

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at April 24, 2008 5:08 PM

I'm not sure how much of a "scoop" it is to anyone in the RIGOP, since the members have been getting bombarded with letters, phone calls, and personal requests. The only thing I haven't been sent is an envelope of cash. The RIGOP State Convention will be on June 12th. We're actually having a party meeting in Barrington tonight (hence the convenient timing of the news), so I'm sure we'll hear more about it then, too.

As it so happens, I'm a member of the RIGOP Nominating Committee, so I'm going to at least try to give the appearance of impartiality until we interview all of the candidates. However, I don't think its a stretch to say that Avedesian will have his work cut out for him trying to convince Republicans that he should be their elected representative in Washington (PS In case you wanted the answer to Andrew's question from a few posts ago regarding Avedesian's apparently not being on board with the Moderate Party, you just got your answer).

Marc is right that there is a likely to be a certain Laffey-Chafee redux / 2010 gubernatorial race dynamic, especially on the men's side -- so it should make for a very interesting state party convention. Trillo is certainly an interesting addition to the mix, considering that he's generally pretty conservative. There is also an intra-Warwick power struggle going on between Avedesian and Trillo, both of which are rumored to possibly be considering their own futile runs in 2010 against Future Governor Steve Laffey ®.

Right now, there is a 3 way race for National Committeeman (Manning, Avedesian, and Trillo). There is a 5 way race for National Committeewoman (Rep. Carol Mumford, Norma Willis, Pat Morgan, Nancy Richmond, and Martha Stamp).

Posted by: Will at April 24, 2008 5:24 PM

... and as of tonight, there are six: add Tina Harsch of Jamestown to the list of candidates for national committeewoman.

Posted by: Monique at April 24, 2008 11:02 PM

Yes, now there are 6. Very interesting that Norma Willis and Tina Harsch are both Jamestownians. I don't know if there's something more to that. However, I think we are quite fortunate to have so many qualified women in the running (perhaps we can convince some of the 5 eventual non-winners to run for other local GOP offices afterwards?).

I was pleasantly surprised at how much substance regarding preparations for the 2008 elections that we were able to discuss at tonight's meeting. For a relatively long meeting, it actually remained pretty interesting throughout (trust me, that isn't typical). Given some of the unexpected "opportunities" which we will have on local level, especially in regard to candidates and pocketbook issues, it would seem that the general mood of the RIGOP has swung towards a more positive direction.

Posted by: Will at April 25, 2008 1:15 AM

I don't know if this will break down along moderate/conservative lines, but I don't think it should. It should be based upon which candidate will do the most to help RI GOP. First, nobody should even be running for the position unless they've already contributed $1,000 to the GOP.

It would also be good to get the answers to a couple of questions from each candidate:

1. Will the candidate help raise money for the GOP if he/she becomes a national committeeman/woman?

2. What party-building activities will the candidate intiate or support?

3. How much time does each prospective national committeeman/woman intend on devoting to the party?

Posted by: Anthony at April 28, 2008 2:11 PM

It costs money to be on the national committee.I believe transportation, lodging, etc., comes out of the pocket of the respective national committee member. No money or subsidy comes from the RI Republicans or National Party for expenses on serving. It runs into the thousands of dollars pricetag during the year to go to multiple meetings.
I hope those of you who want to go to the GOP National Convention make your interest known to the state party NOW.Delegates and guests have to pay their own way.
I am interested in roommates, one or two men, in cutting down lodging costs. I don't hand around the room just sleep there.
Scott Bill Hirst

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at April 29, 2008 1:34 PM
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